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Nature Tours

Celebrating 20 years!

Guided nature tours, including special programs for bird-watchers.

King Ranch bird-watchers patch

King Ranch has a long history of wildlife management. As early as 1947, famed conservationist Aldo Leopold called King Ranch “one of the best jobs of wildlife restoration on the continent.” Today, the ranch is a vital part of an incredibly diverse landscape in South Texas dubbed “The Last Great Habitat.”

Since 1994, the nature tour program has allowed visitors to see the benefits of this conservation ethic in the abundance of native wildlife that roams the ranch. Besides rich populations of game species such as northern bobwhite quail, white-tailed deer, and wild turkey, King Ranch is also home to an incredible number of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. We have been honored as an Internationally Important Bird Area: 363 species of birds have been recorded here, including the largest known population of ferruginous pygmy-owls in the United States. In 2004, a species of damselfly never before seen in the U.S., the cream-tipped swamp-damsel, was discovered on the ranch.

So whether you’re interested in big deer, beautiful birds, or the wonders of nature, King Ranch is the place to visit.

King Ranch Nature Tour (2 hours)
Wildlife Half-day (3 1/2 hours)
Winter Birding Half-day (4 hours)
Winter Birding Full-day (8 hours)
Spring Birding Full-day (9 hours)
Deluxe Norias Birding Tour (1.5 days, 1 night)
King Ranch Birding Adventure (3 days, 2 nights)
Private/Group Nature Tours (4 or 8 hours)
Spotlighting Tours (2 1/2 hours)

King Ranch Nature Tour (2 hours)


Birds, bugs, & beyond! Take this short tour for an introduction to the interesting nature found on King Ranch. There is so much that can be seen and enjoyed in this portion of the South Texas brushland ecosystem!

Tours offered Sept. 8 – Oct. 31, 2014 on Mon., Wed., & Fri.

Cost: $19.50/person (minimum of 4 participants)

Wildlife Half-day (3 1/2 hours)

Photo_Deer VelvetDrop

Enjoy a tour through some of the premier wildlife habitat in the country. Besides being famous for the quality of antlered white-tailed deer in its pastures, King Ranch is home to a diverse range of animal species including javelina, bobcat, wild turkey, American alligator, and a host of other mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Offered: October 13, 2014 – March 13, 2015 on Tuesday – Friday and some Saturdays from 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Not Offered: November 27, December 24 & 25 and January 1

(1 participant) $119/person
(2 participants) $59/person
(3-4 participants) $39/person
(5+ participants) $29/person

Reservations & binoculars recommended.

Winter Birding Half-day (4 hours)


King Ranch is a showcase for the incredible diversity of wintering and tropical resident birds in South Texas. We’ll visit habitats from wetland to grassland looking for birds such as least grebe, white-tailed hawk, crested caracara, vermillion flycatcher, great kiskadee, green jay, olive sparrow, and more.

Offered: October 20, 2014 – March 14, 2015 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Not Offered: December 24 and January 3

(1 participant) $150
(2 participants) $75/person
(3 participants) $60/person
(4 participants) $50/person
(5 more peoples) $40/person

Reservations required.

 Winter Birding Full-day (8 hours)


Come spend the day birding the northernmost part of King Ranch. In addition to the species listed for the Winter Birding Half-day tour, we’ll visit farm fields to look for such birds as the burrowing owl and Sprague’s pipit. Lunch and drinks provided.

Offered Nov. 4, 2014 – March 13, 2015 on most Tuesdays and Fridays @ 8:00 a.m.

(1 participant) $300
(2 participants) $160/person
(3 participants) $125/person
(4 or more participants) $99/person

Reservations required.

Spring Birding Full-day (9 hours)


This tour visits the Norias division, the southernmost part of King Ranch can be an unmatched birding experience. With some of the rarest breeding birds in the U.S. like the ferruginous pygmy-owl and tropical parula, AND habitat for migrating passerines, the ranch is a wonderful place to bird in spring. Other species we’ll look for include northern-beardless tyrannulet, Audubon’s oriole, Botteri’s sparrow, and white-tailed hawk. Lunch and drinks provided.

Offered March 18, 2015 – June 10, 2015 on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. This tour departs from the King Ranch Visitor Center @ 6:00 a.m.

Prices for March 18 – May 05, 2015

(1 participant) $375
(2 participants) $225/person
(3 participants) $160/person
(4 or more participants) $130/person

Prices for May 6 – June 07, 2015

(1 participant) $350
(2 participants) $185/person
(3 participants) $130/person
(4 or more participants) $99/person

Reservations recommended.

Deluxe Norias Birding Tour (1.5 days, 1 night)

This tour maximizes the varied birding opportunities on the Norias Div., of King Ranch. Besides the many special resident & summer resident bird species that are possible, this portion of King Ranch has extensive upland coastal habitat that can attract many spring migrants. The itinerary of this tour allows time to visit these coastal migrant stopover areas, plus includes an overnight stay on this division of the ranch.  
Dates for this special tour are limited
April 16 – 17, 2015 (Thurs. – Fri.)
April 30 – May 1, 2015 (Thurs. – Fri.)
Cost: $350/person (based on double occupancy; minimum of 4 participants)

King Ranch Birding Adventure (3 days, 2 nights)

Formerly known as a retreat but past participants felt it was more like a wonderful adventure, this unique and extended outing is a great way to experience a much larger portion of King Ranch and its birds. It will include birding 3 divisions of the ranch and a two night stay on the remote Norias division of King Ranch. 
Dates for the adventure in 2015:
April 21 – 23 (Tues. – Thurs.)
May 4 – 6 (Mon. – Wed.)
Cost: $635/person (based on double occupancy; minimum of 4 participants)

Private/Group Nature Tours (4 or 8 hours)


We can provide custom nature tours on birds, butterflies, dragonflies, native plants, and general wildlife. Rates vary by length and destination, so please call for information.

Spotlighting Tours (2 1/2 hours)


Join us the weekend of the King Ranch Breakfast for a special treat! Spotlight tours look for the same wildlife as our half-day tour, with the focus on nocturnal creatures.

November 21-22, 2014 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

(1 participant) $45/person
(2 or more participants) $22/person

Reservations recommended.

Sales tax (6.75%) not included in any tour prices listed.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact:
King Ranch Visitor Center
Highway 141 West
PO Box 1090
Kingsville, Texas 78364-1090
(361) 592-8055
Fax (361) 595-1344

For a printable Nature Tour brochure please click below:

For a printable KR Birding checklist please click below:

For a complete checklist of the birds of King Ranch please see “King Ranch Birds” under the “Stewardship and Education” section of this website.

Note: Vehicles headed north after a Spring birding tour  travel through the Sarita U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Check Station.  Each vehicle is met at the checkpoint by  Border Patrol agents for a quick visual inspection and brief questions to determine citizenship.  The process is routine, and most stops average less than a minute in duration.  All passengers need to carry proper identification to verify U.S. Citizenship such as a Drivers License or Student ID card.  Foreign nationals planning to take a Spring birding trip on the King Ranch should be sure to carry the appropriate documentation to avoid unnecessary delays, as Border Patrol agents are required to determine the immigration status of every traveler.  Participants who do not have proper identification will not be permitted to board vans headed for King Ranch birding excursions on the Norias Division of the ranch, as an  1-2 hour delay in return of a birding trip would not be fair to other participants.

Cancellation Policy

For Wildlife Half-day and Winter Birding Half-day Tours:
If cancellation by person(s) with reservations is made 7 days or more before tour date, there will be a full refund. Within 7 days, there will be no refunds.  Changes in time of tour must be made in writing and received via email or fax or mail within 7 days of tour, or guide will only be able to accommodate the guest during the specified reserved time.

For Winter Birding Full-day and Spring Birding Full-day Tours:
If cancellation by person(s) with reservations is made 14 days or more before tour date, there will be a full refund. Within 14 days, cancellations will be subject to a $30/person cancellation charge.

In the event that any outing, day tour, or half-day tour is canceled by King Ranch due to inclement weather or for any other reason, a full refund will be sent to all who are currently reserved for that tour.

In the event that any tour or outing is canceled by King Ranch for any reason, King Ranch’s sole liability shall be to refund advance payments made. King Ranch specifically disclaims any liability for actual damages beyond any payments or deposits made and for any incidental or consequential damages.